Willoughby's Return: A Tale of Almost Irresistible Temptation

( 10 )

Overview

A lost love returns, rekindling forgotten passions…

In Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, when Marianne Dashwood marries Colonel Brandon, she puts her heartbreak over dashing scoundrel John Willoughby in the past.

Three years later, Willoughby's return throws Marianne into a tizzy of painful memories and exquisite feelings of uncertainty. Willoughby is as charming, as roguish, and as much in love with her as ever. And the timing couldn't be ...

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Willoughby's Return: A tale of almost irresistible temptation

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Overview

A lost love returns, rekindling forgotten passions…

In Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, when Marianne Dashwood marries Colonel Brandon, she puts her heartbreak over dashing scoundrel John Willoughby in the past.

Three years later, Willoughby's return throws Marianne into a tizzy of painful memories and exquisite feelings of uncertainty. Willoughby is as charming, as roguish, and as much in love with her as ever. And the timing couldn't be worse—with Colonel Brandon away and Willoughby determined to win her back, will Marianne find the strength to save her marriage, or will the temptation of a previous love be too powerful to resist?

Praise for Lydia Bennet's Story:

"A breathtaking Regency romp!"
Diana Birchall | Author of Mrs. Darcy's Dilemma

"An absolute delight to read."
Historical Novels Review

"Odiwe emulates Austen's famous wit, and manages to give Lydia a happily-ever-after ending worthy of any Regency romance heroine."
Booklist

"Odiwe pays nice homage to Austen's stylings and endears the reader to the formerly secondary character, spoiled and impulsive Lydia Bennet."
Publisher's Weekly

"Rollicking good fun with a surprise twist."
Austenprose

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Editorial Reviews

A Bibliophile's Bookshelf
Jane Odiwe writes with such eloquence and style that you can't be helped for thinking that you are reading a Jane Austen book.
— Bella McGuire
Smexy Books
A delightful tale that swept me away for the time I was reading... a very sweet story.
— Mandi Schriener
Booklist
Odiwe's elegantly stylish writing is seasoned with just the right dash of tart humor, and her latest literary endeavor is certain to delight both Austen devotees and Regency romance readers.
— John Charles
Psychotic State
I could not wish for a more fluid, yet entertaining, story, nor a more satisfying ending.
— Lori Hedgpeth
Savvy Verse & Wit
A fast-paced, regency novel with a modern flair.
— Serena Cox-Agusto
Books Like Breathing
Odiwe's portrayal of all of the characters was perfect.
— Grace Loiacano
Jane Austen Today
Odiwe's plot has its twists and turns, the suspense coming from the characters' actions, which comes to a satisfying conclusion
— Vic Sandborn
Revenge of the Book Nerds
"Willoughby's Return" has maintained the spirit and life of it's predecessor and was such a strong, flowing read and I would definitely recommend this to any Sense and Sensibility fan who has wondered "well, what then?"
— Jaime Huff
AustenProse
A light and enjoyable read, Willoughby's Return is a charming tale that sweeps you back into Austen's mannered world of a young girl searching for love and a married woman realizing it.
— Laurel Ann Nattress
Austenesque Reviews
A magnificent job... Romantic, emotional, and passionate.
— Meredith Esparza
Laura's Reviews
The best sequel to Sense and Sensibility that I have ever read!
— Laura Gerold
The Jane Austen Centre
Jane Odiwe constructs a compelling tale of love in all its forms.
Jane Austen's Regency World
Odiwe's feeling for Jane Austen's characters is undeniable — she writes with wit and an enviable lightness of touch, creating a believable world of new possibilities without ever losing sight of the original narrative.
— Jocelyn Bury
Publishers Weekly
Odiwe's sequel to Sense and Sensibility is best at recalling Austen's descriptive abilities, but falls short in its treatment of Austen's beloved characters. Three years after Marianne and Col. William Brandon get married, they're still unable to discuss two critical and intertwined issues: namely, that Marianne feels jealous of William's ward, Eliza, the illegitimate daughter of his first love; and the reappearance of Eliza's father, John Willoughby, who was once Marianne's love. Matters are complicated by the growing affection between Marianne's sister, Margaret, and William's nephew Henry, a developing relationship that serves as a stand-in for the original book's. As their unshared feelings fester, distance grows between Marianne and William; Odiwe nods occasionally to the inequality between marriage partners, which allows the man to carry on much as he did prior to marriage, an issue that Austen herself would likely tackle; unfortunately, it's hard to maintain suspense when the central plot conflict can be cleared up with a five-minute conversation. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402222672
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/1/2009
  • Pages: 345
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Odiwe is an artist and author. She is an avid fan of all things Austen and is the author and illustrator of Effusions of Fancy, annotated sketches from the life of Jane Austen, as well as Lydia Bennet's Story. She lives with her husband and three children in North London.
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Read an Excerpt

Mariane Brandon was bursting with news to tell her sister and was so excited at the report that her husband had divulged at breakfast before leaving for Lyme that morning, that she did not consider there to be time enough to don her bonnet. With her chestnut curls escaping from her coiffure to dance in the wind and her scarlet cloak billowing like a great sail behind her, she almost ran down the lane to the parsonage. Knowing that Elinor would probably scold her for not bringing the chaise, she nevertheless had not wanted to be bothered with the inconvenience of having to wait for it. Muddying her boots and the hem of her gown, she took the shortcut across the fields to the lane that separated the two sisters. Yesterday's storm had left the ground wet but there was the promise of a most delightful day, the autumnal sunshine kissing her cheeks with a blush. Marianne had not wanted to say goodbye to her husband but was resigned to his departure. There was nothing she could say or do to change the situation; she knew that from experience. Glad to be outside in the fresh air, she looked about with contented pleasure, waltzing through the familiar countryside that she was delighted to call her home. Delaford House in the county of Dorset was as dear to her as the former family seat at Norland had been. Marianne knew in her heart that she was a most fortunate young woman.

Elinor was delighted to see her as always, although she was a little surprised at her sister's slightly dishevelled appearance. "Goodness me, Marianne. Is ought amiss? You look rather harried. Where is little James? Is he well? Anna will be most upset not to see her cousin this morning."

"How is my darling Anna? I long to kiss her! And where is little Georgie? I must have a cuddle!" Marianne handed her cloak into the arms of a waiting maidservant before arranging herself with much elegance on the sofa in the comfortable sitting room. "I could not bring James with me, as he was not yet dressed, and in any case I just had to get out into the sunshine. Besides, he wants to look into every hedgerow and chase the falling leaves, and I couldn't wait to tell you my news. However, before I left I promised he would see his cousin soon. I have had an idea. Anna and James enjoy one another's company so much, as does our dear mama. What say you to a shopping trip in Exeter the day after tomorrow? It would be such fun. My nursemaid can take our babies in the carriage to Barton Cottage and after you and I have handed them over with our greetings we shall go out in the box barouche!"

Elinor looked at Marianne in disbelief. She wondered if she would ever grow up or if she would for once consider others before she set about on some scheme or other. Colonel William Brandon, Elinor thought, had done much to improve her sister's character. She was more settled in her habits, more tranquil than she had ever been, and was not quite so prone to as many flights of fancy or as many fits of sensibility as she had been in the past. But three years of married life had done little to really change her. Marianne still had an impetuous nature, she still retained a desire for impulse and enterprises undertaken on the spur of the moment. The Colonel, Elinor felt, indulged Marianne's whims far too frequently.

"Marianne, you know that would be impossible. I have far too much to do here at present and I do not think Mama will be as pleased as you think to have all her grandchildren at once. Besides, she may have other plans."

"But Margaret is there, kicking her heels with nothing to do. I am sure she would only be delighted to see her niece and nephews. And I would love to tell Mama and Margaret my news."

Elinor was firm. "I would love to go shopping on another day, but I really cannot go at the moment. Now, is that what you came to tell me in such a hurry?"

Marianne watched Elinor's maid set down a tray of lemonade and ratafia biscuits. She could hardly wait for Susan's starched white cap to disappear through the door before she made her announcement.
"Henry Lawrence is coming home—William's nephew," she added, taking in Elinor's puzzled expression.
"Oh, yes," Elinor exclaimed, her face breaking into a smile.
"I remember hearing about him from Mrs Jennings. He has just completed his studies at Oxford, has he not?"
"Yes, and by all accounts he is not only very handsome but is also a very eligible young man, for he will inherit Whitwell. I have never met him, but I must admit, I am most curious to see him."

"Whitwell is a very handsome estate; William's sister made an excellent marriage."
"She did indeed, though her health has never been good.
That is why they stayed in Southern France and Italy for so long, I believe. Hannah tells me that the air and the climate are very well suited to invalids, and is always at pains to point out her abhorrence of the damp atmosphere to be found in the West Country. William worries about his sister so much, but all I can observe is that the Dorsetshire rain does not improve her disposition."

Marianne paused before looking directly into her sister's eyes. "I have a mind to say that there seems little that would divert a constitution so intent on being ill. I have never seen her without some ailment and I admit it is fortunate that we are not such close neighbours. I have never heard her discuss any subject other than that of herself, and then it is only to complain."

"Perhaps she suffers more than you know, Marianne."
"That we all suffer in her company is a certainty. You have not met with her above twice in your life and I believe you mistakenly felt that she was quite charming on both occasions. But then, you are not her intimate relation and I suspect you have been taken in."
"I daresay the entire neighbourhood will be throwing their girls in Mr Lawrence's path," said Elinor, changing the course of the conversation. "I expect Miss Strowbridge will have her eye on him before long."
"Miss Strowbridge, nonsense! He will be entirely suitable for Margaret, do you not think? You must admit there have been few young men to excite the romantic sensibilities of our dear sister to date. Charles Carey was never really suitable, and in any case he has gone to sea. I feel most excited at the prospect.

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Customer Reviews

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( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Sense and Sensibility Continues Brilliantly

    I adore Jane Austen and I have a serious obsession with Austen fan fic. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review this book not only due to my love of all things Jane Austen but also because I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Odiwe's previous effort, opportunity to review this book not only due to my love of all things Jane Austen but also because I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Odiwe's previous effort, Lydia Bennet's Story.

    Ms. Odiwe again took a secondary character from an Austen story - - this time Margaret Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility - - and shared with her readers a continuation of what happened after Austen's novel ended. She also took what could have been an unfinished story - - Willoughby's leaving and Marianne marrying Colonel Brandon - - and wove it intricately into the tale of a now of-age Margaret finding love.

    Willoughby's Return works so well because, as she did with Lydia Bennet's Story, Ms. Odiwe stayed faithful to the characters Jane Austen originally created and by doing so, Willoughby's Return reads virtually as a Sense and Sensibility sequel written by Austen herself. Marianne, while more mature due to Colonel Brandon's love and the events that transpired in Sense and Sensibility, still has a romantic, and even flighty, streak. Colonel Brandon, while deeply enamored of his wife, is still serious about his responsibilities to his wards. Elinor is still mindful of appearances and decorum and Lucy Steele Ferrars and Anne Steele are still very much the busybodies they were. Even Mrs. Jennings still remains ever the fanciful matchmaker.

    I could not wish for a more fluid, yet entertaining, story, nor a more satisfying ending. I raced through the book as I was anxious to find out what would happen, while at the same time dreading for the story to end because I was enjoying myself so much. In my opinion, Ms. Odiwe surpassed herself with this effort and I enjoyed it even more so than I did Lydia Bennet's Story.


    If you are a fan of Jane Austen, of Regency romps and/or historical fiction, I cannot recommend Willoughby's Return enough. A definite must-read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2012

    Worst book ever!

    This book is a waste of money. Most boring book Iv'e ever read.

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  • Posted May 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Oh so Terrible

    Unable to finnish it!! It is soooooooo boring. I have not one good thing to say about it.

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